Between some hot, dry elk hunting I went fishing on McCoy Creek. The fishing was pretty poor as all the holes where fish should have been were vacant for activity. I did catch two small cutthroats on small grasshoppers flies. McCoy Creek was probably a good 12+ inches low for this time of year which I am sure contributed to the poor quality of fishing.
Here are a couple of pictures of the McCoy Creek headwaters near Clear Creek:
My father and I spent Monday fishing the Upper Blackfoot River for probably the last time this year as temperatures begin to dip and my annual elk hunting excursions begin. We fished for 3 hours and caught over 40 fish between the two of us. The majority of the fish were in the 10-14″ range but we did catch 10 fish over 17″. In one hole my dad landed 10 fish.
But the monster of the day was a 22″ 5 pound cutthroat that obliterated a size 8 foam hopper. After a 10 minute fight we landed this beautiful fish but regretfully the camera was having a technical difficulty.
It was a great day and it is amazing to see the Blackfoot returning to its prior glory. Just 10 years ago there was almost no water and the river was full of carp. An outstanding turnaround for one of Eastern Idaho’s best fisheries.
The flies of the day were a size 8 gray foam hopper and a size 14 bead head prince nymph. No other fly was necessary.
I know that I am jumping the gun by about 6-7 months but this last summer I finally discovered a grasshopper pattern that was exceptionally productive for Idaho Fly Fishing. Like many of you I have tried numerous different grasshopper patterns with varied success.
The Joe’s Hopper has been all but worthless, including all the subtle variations.
The parahopper (grey and tan bodies) has been a good fly and has caught a lot of fish. It’s always good to have some of these in sizes 8-14. One big problem with the parahopper: floatation! Once this fly is taken a few times you can’t keep it on the surface. Add a dropper? It will sink the fly every time, which is frustrating at best!
I tried various foam hoppers with varying success.
Finally this year, thanks to Portneuf River Outfitters in Pocatello, I discovered a foam hopper pattern that the fish consumed with eagerness. One day on the Blackfoot, I caught around 50 fish (mostly 6-10 inchers) on this pattern. They were attacking it with abandon. I even hooked and landed 3 20+ inchers in this fly while losing 5-6 more.
So what is the pattern? Alas, I don’t have a picture at the moment but I will post a picture with the additional info on my next post. Stay tuned!
Plastic Waterproof Fly Box – White
Terrestrial Trout Fly Fishing Flies Collection
Handbook Of Hatches: Introductory Guide to the Foods Trout Eat & the Most Effective Flies to Match Them
Okuma S-903-5 Cascade Fly Combo (5wt, 9-Feet)
I spent Friday evening fishing on the Blackfoot River and had a decent afternoon…nothing great but I ended up catching 10 fish. One was 15″ and another 18″ but the others were all 10″ or smaller. All fish were cutthroats. The hot weather has heated the water up so fishing in the mornings and later mornings would probably be more productive. As often happens on the Blackfoot, I caught a fish on the very first catch which is just one reason why the Blackfoot is an Idaho fly fishing treasure. If you go, try the Stocking Ranch or the 8 mile stretch in the Monsanto property (you’ll have to walk a lot!) for excellent fly fishing.
Hot flies: Size 10 and 14 gray-colored foam hoppers. My dad also caught some on size 16 bead headed prince nymphs
After significant concerns over water flow this year, late spring rain storms have kept the Blackfoot River flowing at a normal rate which means outstanding fishing for native cutthroats. This last Tuesday I fished the Blackfoot River and caught 15+ fish, three were over 20″. I also caught the largest cutthroat trout I have ever caught…a 24″ bruiser that weighed in the 4-6 pound range. He smacked a grasshopper fly off the surface and then raced away downstream. After about a 1/2 hour of reviving, he swam away for hopefully another adventure in the near future. He was a beautiful fish.
Hot flies for Tuesday: Beadheaded Brown Wooly Bugger; Beadheaded Prince Nymph (Size 16); and medium sized foam or para hopper Grasshopper (grey or dark tan)